Gig banter / playing tricks on your bandmates.

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I haven't seen a thread on this subject, so thought I'd start one to share stories / ideas. Although this seems frivolous, I believe it's an important beneficial element in live performance - under the general heading of "having fun", & that translates directly to the audience.

I, & other band members, regularly feed little silly bits into songs, just to raise a smile, or catch each other out. I might throw in a comedy ending, or a fill over the bar. The guitarist will throw in a cuckoo sound or similar during a break piece, you get the idea.

I took it up a notch on Friday's gig - the classic speed up, but this time, on steroids. I chose a simple number towards the end of the gig. It's already a fairly fast audience dancing song, but one verse & chorus before the end, I cranked up the tempo, & kept cranking it up to the point of being ludicrous. It was great to see which player bailed first :) The audience picked up on the humour straight away, & certainly got the fact it was unscripted by looking at the faces of the other players. I finished with a comedy super fast hero fill flurry, just as if someone had sped the tape up. Anyhow, it went down a storm with the audience.

Your stories anyone?
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Haven't done this one for a while but when we get an absolute stinker of a gig where there's you and the bar staff I always play things with a reggae feel, gives thing a mellow happy feeling, really works well with Judas Priest/Sabbath etc.

Failing that if you drop a bollock on stage you're gonna get ribbed but it's all in good fun. We don't take ourselves seriously and it works with the crowds.

Pretending your microphone doesn't work is old but gold, we used to have a really anal singer and the p.a. was his baby...memories.

Pulling the power lead out of an amp is a good one if you have a crap bassist who is too loud, they spend hours trying to find out why their amp went off
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Don't know if it counts but our previous guitarist spent two years with our band thinking he was providing supporting lyrics.

He has never been plugged in. And he never had a clue.

I'm being 100% serious.
 

STXBob

Gold Member
Haven't done this one for a while but when we get an absolute stinker of a gig where there's you and the bar staff I always play things with a reggae feel, gives thing a mellow happy feeling, really works well with Judas Priest/Sabbath etc.
We cover The Cure's "Love Song" like the California band 311's cover. Yes, it's a cover of a cover. ;-) Well, I come from the Caribbean. 311's cover is kind of sort of ska-ish. But it ain't reggae. So last gig I decided to go full reggae, throwing a one-drop under it with some skittery hi-hats. Lead guitarist looked scared. Bassist just grinned and laid it down (he knows the genre pretty well for a white boy from central Pennsylvania). Lead singer just shook his head and started trying to fake a Caribbean accent. lol
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Don't know if it counts but our previous guitarist spent two years with our band thinking he was providing supporting lyrics.

He has never been plugged in. And he never had a clue.

I'm being 100% serious.
What's his facebook handle? :)

Pretty funny man. I'd like to be there if he ever found out. Capture it on video for me would you please?
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
What's his facebook handle? :)

Pretty funny man. I'd like to be there if he ever found out. Capture it on video for me would you please?
He was always absolutely convinced that he could "do a bit of backing vocals"....but his singing was absolutely awful. Just outrageously bad.

Then he maintained that he could do some "OI OI" occasionally, and/or a bit of shouting. Which sounds easy. But he kept "OI OI ing" out of time. So our bassist who is the 'sound man' of the band started letting him use a mic, but would ensure it wasn't plugged in.

He's no longer with the band...I will drop it on him at some point as he's my best friend. He'll see the funny side.

The funniest one personally for me was when we were supporting From the Jam a couple of years back....the bass pedal I was using stopped working so I rushed back stage for a replacement. Took me literally 30 seconds but that was time enough for our singer to announce to the audience "if you were wondering where our drummer has gone, he's just been told that the Greggs across the road are just about to close".

The entire audience cracked up...and I could hardly walk back to the kit due to the tears pouring down my eyes.

He also dropped a gag into a gig a while back..."if you were wondering why our drummer is so big it's because he has a very slow metabolism......and a very fast pie arm".

It sounds like bullying...but I dish it out just as much :) I've genuinely never heard a band rib each other during gigs and rehearsals as much as we do...it's quite literally from start to finish. We are all comfortable with it though and it seems to add to the, ahem, entertainment.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I've done the old "turn the amp level down while the guitarist is trying to turn up" thing. I think it's funny.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think its great when band members insult each other onstage...all in jest of course. I wish my band was like that. We're not real fun :)(
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
For our NYE gig our vocalist was away. We carved up vocal duties amongst the remaining members. I got "I'm A Believer", amongst others. In rehearsal I decided that 'then she sat on my' would be way more encouraging of belief than 'then I saw her' face, and it fit the line perfectly. Bandmate collapse ensued and I was instructed that I had to sing it that way when we played it. Audience reaction was that good that I saw one woman recording her husband's reaction to the line rather than our performance.

Another one: We sometimes do a Who-esque rendition of Summertime Blues, which includes the following lines, which I have always hated:
Gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine vacation
Gonna take my problem to the United Nations

At the same gig, without prior warning I amended the second line to "Gonna dedicate myself to the art of masturbation", and heard our lead guitarist making spluttering noises.
 

no talent

Senior Member
In my swing band, we are so close personally that all we do is laugh and pick on each other. Last night during one song there is a break before going into the guitar solo and i decided to do a fast single stroke roll on my 6 inch tom, just to get the guitar players attention, when he looked over i said to him "i did that just to bug you" and he said "it worked". he will reach in and undo my hi hat clutch during a song with a traditional jazz beat and stuff like that. people always ask us at gig what the hell are we cracking up about on stage, its so much more fun to have a good time instead of posing.
 
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